Paramount Dumping VC-1 in Favor of MPEG4 AVC?

Posted by Tyler Pruitt on June 22, 2007 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, Studios

It seems that Paramount is switching from Microsoft’s VC-1, to MPEG4 AVC on all its future HD DVD titles. On their new Blu-ray titles, they have already switched to AVC from MPEG2. The movies include: The Warriors, Norbit, The Untouchables, and Black Snake Moan. We have a suspicion that Paramount is going to take a play out of Warner’s book by doing one encode for both formats. The problem with this scenario is that the Blu-ray titles would be limited to HD DVD’s 30Mb/s peak video bit rate (Blu-ray’s is 40Mb/s).

Related posts:

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  3. Microsoft’s Kevin Collins Responds to Paramount Payoff Rumors
  4. Paramount Jumps Over The Hedge To HD DVD Exclusivity
  5. Paramount Re-Issued Blu-ray Movies Land at Wal-Mart


8 Responses to “Paramount Dumping VC-1 in Favor of MPEG4 AVC?”

  1. Segars on June 22nd, 2007 7:58 am

    I was under the impression that the only difference between the HD DVD and Blu-ray bitrates was the audio, not the video.

    I know that the maximum bitrate on the DTS-HD MA is different between the two formats, with HD DVD having a slightly lower bitrate than Blu-ray, but considering the fact that these audio tracks are incredibly rare, at least for the time being, no one has the chance to compare them anyway.

  2. Tyler on June 22nd, 2007 12:05 pm

    The peak A/V mux rate for HD DVD is 30Mb/s. The peak A/V mux rate for Blu-ray is 48Mb/s(40Mb/s for video).

  3. Segars on June 22nd, 2007 12:30 pm


    Do you think the increased mux bitrate makes a difference?

    I’ve compared a handful of titles, and read countless reviews and I’ve only come across one title (Flags of our Fathers) that was a close call between the two formats.

    Perhaps Blu-ray hasn’t tapped into it’s full potential, but I can’t imagine why not.

    Do you know anything about this?

  4. hmurchison on June 22nd, 2007 7:46 pm

    I think it really depends on the original source. Take something like U2′s Rattle and Hum or any concert. The strobing lights actually are a fairly difficult thing to compress. Since your codec is looking to only track the changes in a video “talking heads” are likely amongst the easiest to encode whilst flashing and a lot of movement are more difficult. Blu-ray’s higher video bandwidth would likely deliver superior quality for these movies.

  5. Robert George on June 22nd, 2007 10:49 pm

    I’m not sure what the article is referring to. The HD DVD version of The Untouchables is VC-1.

  6. Tyler on June 22nd, 2007 11:17 pm

    Robert here is the tech specs of the HD DVD taken from highdefdigest:

    Technical Specs

    * HD DVD
    * HD-30 Dual-Layer Disc

    Video Resolution/Codec

    * 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    * 480p/i/MPEG-2 (Supplements Only)

  7. Robert George on June 22nd, 2007 11:34 pm

    Yeah, I read Bracke’s review. Here’s a link to a pic I snapped of the info display of my HD-XA2…

    I guess you can believe what you want.

  8. Tyler on June 23rd, 2007 5:02 pm

    Robert, Thanks for posting the screen shot, I updated the original post.

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